Operator: Lafarge Aggregates Ltd in partnership with The National Memorial Arboretum Co. Ltd
Size: 60 hectares
Restored to: Nature Conservation/Contribution to Biodiversity and Recreation/Leisure
The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s memorial to those who have given their lives in the service of their country. Comprising over 60 hectares of trees and memorials, it has been created on land restored by Lafarge Aggregates Ltd following sand and gravel extraction. The entry is a joint one between both parties.
More than 50,000 trees have been planted on the site to create wooded parkland. However, there is also a rich tapestry of lakes, ponds, riverine habitat, grassland, reedbeds and wetland.
Biodiversity has been promoted through hedge laying, willow sculpture, willow hedge construction and the building of an artificial otter holt.
The Arboretum, located near where the rivers Tame, Trent and Meese meet, is an important wildlife corridor. Otters, brown owls, kingfishers, brown hares and lapwings have all been spotted.
Within the Arboretum is the impressive Armed Forces Memorial, which commemorates servicemen killed on duty since 1948. The design of this memorial was partly inspired by a 3000 year old Bronze Age burial mound also preserved on the site.
The site provides full access to the public, with car-parking, visitor centre, café, meeting rooms, chapel and interpretation boards.
Over 100 volunteers work at the Arboretum. There is a Wildlife Watch Group for younger people, supported by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, and a well-used Lafarge Education Resource Centre.
The Alrewas site has been restored by Lafarge Aggregates Ltd and National Memorial Arboretum Co. Ltd into a historic, peaceful place of national, international and personal significance for visitors. The wide variety of trees and habitats has also greatly enhanced biodiversity. For these special social and environmental reasons, The National Memorial Arboretum is the 2009 Cooper-Heyman Cup winner.